Lyft, a car sharing commuting service, is hitting the Austin transportation scene in an effort to offer an alternative transportation option for residents. The company plans to launch in Austin Thursday, May 29.
Lyft communications employee, Katie Dally, said the company is expecting to make quite an impact on rush hour, remarking that lifestyle changes are necessary.
“Lyft can help enable this, empowering residents to leave their cars at home, and drivers to share and fill the empty seats in their vehicles to make transportation more efficient,” she explained.
Despite the high hopes for the company’s success in Austin, concerns have been raised regarding the companies legality. Uber, a similar service company, is banned from the city do to state laws. Dally explained that Lyft is not concerned with this matter.
“Lyft is a peer-to-peer ridesharing service, in which community drivers use their own vehicles to provide rides to fellow residents,” she said.
The current regulatory structure that applies to Uber does not account for emerging and unique business models. Austin City Council is moving to pass a new structure that will do so. Dally explained that Lyft is committed to staying at the table and continuing to work with the city.
In early May, Uber launched a petition to the city of Austin in an attempt to lift the laws preventing them from working in the city. So far the petition has 20, 124 signatures of goaled 25,000.